Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Tale of Two Cities

Day 36 of the "What are you reading, and why?" project.

Candace is reading a book about corn.

And I think I know why. There is a permanent Agriculture exhibit at the museum where she works, and a new exhibit on food & music in the planning, and the Farmers Market will be coming in the summer, and, eventually, lots of corn. And local poets will read poems about corn and farming and food and folk music at the museum sometime this summer. I will announce it here, no doubt. And I have corn earrings.

Late in the summer we have the annual Corn Festival, which used to be in one of our twin cities and is now in the other. A corny transition.... a Tale for Two Cities, a local event like The Big Read in towns and cities all over the USA, in which people in our particular twin cities read the same book, and the two public libraries offer multiple copies of it and a series of book-related events.

This year's mutual read in our two cities is: Outcasts United: An American Town, a Refugee Team, and One Woman's Quest to Make a Difference by Warren St. John. We will meet the author, hear experts speak on a variety of topics, meet some Lost Boys of Sudan, and see the movies Bend It Like Beckham, The Cup, God Grew Tired of Us, Kicking It, and War Dance.

Yes, this is a book about soccer! And people! And the world! Ongoing wars and conflicts, the plight of refugees. And small-town America. I started loving it from the introduction, which contrasts the coaching styles of a silent coach who respects her players and lets them play and a "screamer," and I hope my husband will read it, too, as he's a coach and not a screamer.

Meanwhile, Chicago is reading Brooklyn by Colm Toibin for the One Book, One Chicago program, and this is something I'll hope to read in the future. I enjoyed his novel The Master, in the style of Henry James. (But whenever I hear "the Master," I think of The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, one of my favorite books ever, but one my mom could not finish....She gets impatient with fantasy, so she was probably annoyed when the Devil came to Moscow.)

So now I have mentioned more than two cities: Chicago, Moscow, and our twin cities of Bloomington-Normal (via the library & museum links).

And lest Charles Dickens feel neglected for no real reference to A Tale of Two Cities, I will link for him here to Amazon, add an image because I like the lilies of the valley on this particular cover, and remind us that this whole daily book blog thing began with everybody reading Dickens. And, hey, young man came into Babbitt's yesterday in search of Dickens and found some, leaving happy! And if you too are addicted to books, you will be happy to greet spring at the Normal Public Library book sale this weekend!


Kim said...

Love the library book sale! Can get new stuff cheap, good stuff, even cheaper than Babbits which I also love. And I can donate those books that just didn't melt my bubblegum. I didn't know about Dickens daily writing, can you share more?

Kathleen said...

My daily book blog started with everybody reading Dickens, not his. He can start his own book blog.

Really, he probably did write every day. Look at how prolific he was, the darn guy!!

Etta Worthington said...

Kathleen, does it count as reading if you are listening to a book on CD?

Kathleen said...

Etta, it uses different parts of the brain.

It's OK by me if you listen to books!

But in this blog, because of the state of reading in our word, and how it affects our ways of thinking and connecting our thoughts, I am asking people about what they are reading in print, and why.

And I am also interested, and will ask now and then, what print magazines people are still reading and what subscriptions they maintain.

I subscribe to The Sun, Harper's, and Vanity Fair, an odd mix, plus various literary magazines. I try to subscribe for at least a year to every magazine that has taken one of my poems, as a way of showing support. I can't afford to subscribe to them all, but I usually order at least one sample copy if I am not subscribing...

Kathleen said...

World, I meant...

Kathleen said...

Candace says:

very cool:) the official name of the book I am reading is "The Heart of the Cornbelt: An Illustrated History of Corn Farming in McLean County." I am reading it because we are creating some new school programs on Farming:) This book was done when we had the exhibit Corn! The Amaizing Story- many years ago.